Verse of Purification

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The Verse of Purification (Arabic:آیه تطهیر ) is the 33rd verse (Ayah) of Al-Aḥzāb in the Qur'an. The verse has special importance for Shia Muslims due to giving information about Ahl al-Bayt of Muhammad. Shiite reportedly believe it to designate the "People of the House" as being Ismah, infallible. Within Sunni Islam this viewpoint is seen as either rejected or partially supported such as the case of Sufism. Some verses refer to Muhammad's wives.

Text and Translation[edit]

The Verse of Purification, (Arabic: آية التطهير‎; Quran 33.33)
Text Transliteration Translation [1]
وَقَرْ‌نَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّ‌جْنَ تَبَرُّ‌جَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ ۖ وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّـهَ وَرَ‌سُولَهُ ۚ إِنَّمَا يُرِ‌يدُ اللَّـهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّ‌جْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَ‌كُمْ تَطْهِيرً‌ا Waqarna fee buyootikunna walatabarrajna tabarruja aljahiliyyati al-oola waaqimnaassalata waateena azzakatawaatiAAna Allaha warasoolahu innama yureeduAllahu liyuthhiba AAankumu arrijsa ahlaalbayti wayutahhirakum tatheera And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification.

Academic view[edit]

The previous verses include instructions to the wives of Muhammad, and the verbs and pronouns are in the feminine plural. However, in this verse, the pronouns are in the masculine plural. Therefore, it is no longer a discussion of the prophet’s wives or of them alone. Thus, the expression Ahl al-bayt must mean family of Muhammad. The privilege then refers to those nearest to him.

There is a story narrated in many traditions according to which Muhammad sheltered under his cloak, in varying circumstances including the Mubahala, his grandchildren Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali, his daughter Fatimah and his son-in-law Ali and so it is those five who are given the title Ahl al-Kisa or people of the mantle.

Some have attempted to add Muhammad's wives to the list; however, the number of the privileged is limited to those five.[2]


While this verse is among the verses which introduce some especial law for Muhammad's wives with feminine plural pronouns, the pronoun referring to Ahl al-Bayt is in the masculine plural. The great majority of the hadiths quoted by al-Tabari in his Tafsir describes Ahl al-Bayt as the five people of the cloak. Another interpretation says that according to the declaration at the beginning of the previous verse, that is "O wives of the prophet, you're not like any other women" Quran 33:32, this verse include Muhammad's wives. [3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Qur'an 33.33".
  2. ^ "Fāṭima." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Brill Online, 2014. Reference. 08 April 2014
  3. ^ Madelung (1997), pp.14 and 15


Madelung, Wilferd (1997). The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-64696-0.